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Read My List: Professors Urge Unscholarly Reading For Students

September 28, 1993

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Looking for books a college professor might read? Try ″The Joy of Cooking″ or ″Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.″

Those are among 48 entries on the University of Buffalo’s ″Unrequired Reading List,″ a compilation of the faculty’s best-loved books.

″The list isn’t made up necessarily of the ‘great books,’ but it’s definitely full of good books,″ said Peter Gold, associate dean of the university’s undergraduate college, who headed the project. ″Our mission was not to list the great works of world literature but to help undergrads enjoy reading more.″

The list was selected by a panel of professors from various disciplines. The 48 titles give undergraduates one book to read for each month of their college career.

Novels include Ray Bradbury’s ″Fahrenheit 451,″ Ralph Ellison’s ″Invisible Man,″ Joseph Heller’s ″Catch 22,″ Kurt Vonnegut’s ″Cat’s Cradle″ and Katherine Dunn’s ″Geek Love.″

Non-fiction titles include ″The Discoverers″ by Daniel Boorstin, ″Voyage of the Beagle″ by Charles Darwin, ″The Guns of August″ by Barbara Tuchman, ″Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee″ by Dee Brown and ″The Tomb of Tutankhamen″ by Howard Carter.

Representing the classics is Mark Twain’s ″Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.″

So how did ″The Joy of Cooking″ make the list?

History professor Orville Murphy said he picked the book because it’s a ″how-to manual that is clear, explains the vocabulary and introduces students to the many cultures that inform our society.″

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